What Would You Consider To Cold For My Lab

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What Would You Consider To Cold For My Lab

Postby Mallard Machine » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:25 pm

I have a 3yr old lab full of pi$$ and vinegar. I was just wondering what is actually to cold for him to hunt in. I own a Browning Duck Commander 5mm for him to weat to keep him warm. So just wanting some input when enough is enough?
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Postby decoydog » Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:40 pm

Howdy pardner, First first off what part of the country are you hunting in? how cold is it there? Next, how much natural insulation does your 3 year old have? for example..... does he have any fat on him? Next, what kind of fur does he have? is it thick or thin? Do you keep him indoors or in a kennel? those are just some of the things that need to be considered. believe it or not, a hunting lab...if conditioned the right way can tolerate extremely cold and frigid temps. Please respond to those questions as I maybe be able to help you. your question is more important than you might initially think.
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Postby notceaubrite » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:10 pm

I live in SW Montana and the hunting is at is best when all the standing water is locked up and the temp is well below freezing. Just last week, my chessie and I hunted in -1 weather. She doesn't wear a vest either. Not because I think we're too cool for them, she just doesn't like them. But then again, she's a chessie. If you had a peake, I'd say that any weather is good weather but since you have a lab, I wouldn't go out in anything below around 60 degrees. :getdown:

But seriously, the best answer is to go out when its cold, but read your dog. He will give you signs that he's not comfortable. No need to be macho in this type of situation. If its too cold for him, pack it in.

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Postby Joel » Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:53 pm

i have a 85 bl lab took him last week and it was 29deg F. didnt bother him but thats about cold as it gets in north TX.
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Postby Dep666 » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:09 pm

The best advise I can give is use common sense. You know your dog. Watch him and when he starts to shiver and show obvious signs, take him for a walk.Get him moving and get that circulation going. I hunt in NY in early January. It can get down right frigid then. My lab does wear a vest , but he still gets cold. I just make sure he eats a little more ( around the time we hunt) and I keep an eye on him. If he gets real bad I take him to the truck for a quick warm up and then he's allready to get back to business. My hunting buddies break my balls about how I take care of him, but hey he's part of my family.
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Postby Mallard Machine » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:43 am

He's about 75lbs and he doesn't have any fat at all he's all muscle, well maybe a little now b/c he's on a richer food for hunting. He stays outside all day mostly and is brought in at night, his fur is very thick. It's suppose to be a low of -7 this weekend and a high of +2 So is that to cold?? I let him roam alot when it's cold so he keeps warm usually plus we have a really good vest!
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Postby decoydog » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:02 am

It sound as if your doing the right things and he is in good hunting condition. the only thing you might try if it is going to get that cold is to invest in a pair of booties for the dog. Cabelas has different varieties to suit your hunting conditions. The pads of their feet will start to get real cold and you will notice him start to "tap dance". It will take a little while for him to get used to it, but he will tolorate the cold easier. Also, try grabbing an 18 pack of eggs, hard boil them and keep them in the fridge mixing them with his food. It help bring out and maintian the oils in his coat toto repel the cold water. Hope this helps. The booties do work. I hunted in Canada and it was -12f and a friend of mine loaned me a pair for my dog, and we did notice the difference.
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Postby Mallard Machine » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:36 pm

I have heard of the boots, but never the egg part HEY something to try! Long as it works. People say bacon grease and oils in the food but i don't wanna fatting him and clog his arteries i just wanna help his fur for cold!
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Postby Brydog » Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:40 pm

Hey Decoydog,
You said: Also, try grabbing an 18 pack of eggs, hard boil them and keep them in the fridge mixing them with his food. It help bring out and maintian the oils in his coat toto repel the cold water.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1 egg a day or 1 egg per meal?
And what about the Pffffftttt factor. Is it bad ? He's gotta ride in the cab with me ! :laughing:
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Postby decoydog » Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:45 pm

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, Crack the window as you would if your hunting partner was passing gas next to you.
It's hard to pull 1 inch through 6 inches of material while doing "the dance", and looking skyward.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:59 pm

MM is from New Brunswick CA--as I saw a post of his a week or 2 back. that is part of the CA maritimes east coast region.

As to the original topic, it all depends. here is some food for thought...

I see dogs on the TV shows hunting below freezing temps--but often they have a perm heated blind. That makes a huge difference when they are wet and can get warm and out of the wind.

Or if they can run around on land to keep warm helps too.

But if they is wet and it's cold out and they is stuck in a boat so no running around and ne heat, a person is courting arthritis in their dog IMO.

I guess a person needs to determine what their dog is for. Some use them strictly as retreiving machines. Some as a family pet. Some for both. So one has to weigh the possible risks. For me my dog is my buddy and also is to retreive downed birds. So I try keep them out of the water when the water/air temp is too cold for me that I need to wear gloves. Especially dead easily retrived birds via a boat, I will use the boat when cold out. But on occasion I'll send the dog on a cripples retreive. So I guess I limit their exposure. Those (like guides) whose dog is in the cold water all the time often retire their dog by age 8--they have gotten arthritis so bad

And I think the thick wet suits are great, I have the extra flotation too on the back to help them out. It can really make adifference if the dog tires or gets caught up in thick weeds or a decoy line--as that bouyancy helps. I had friends dog drown in warm water (2nd week) a number of years ago when it got caught up in the decoy lines. It left an impression on me--not to send a dog in harms way. Thus I limit my dogs exposure to potential harms. Kind of like being a good Dad/guardian in a way similar with kids. My dog is my buddy, simple as that, and I look out for my buds in life regardless if 2 or 4 legged ones. :thumbsup:
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Postby Webfoot12 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:44 pm

I just wanted to add something:

Keep an eye on your dog when you suspect he might be getting too cold. Everyone probably knows this but shivering or shaking is a natural response. When your dog stops shivering that's when you know you need to get him warm ASAP. Forget the decoys, get him dry and warm NOW.

I'm not saying hunt him till that point, but just to pay attention. Each dogs threshold is going to be different.

Just a thought to keep in the back of your minds as the season grows colder.

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IMO......

Postby Bhmduck » Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:03 pm

I'm new here, but in my opinion, if it's not too cold for you it's not too cold for your dog. Like others have said, use your common sense. Think about when you bath your dog........I have a golden retriever with a really thick coat and when I bath him it takes about 5 minutes running the hose over him and me rubbing the water into his coat for water to even touch his skin. Throw a vest on top of that kind of protection and I think you'll be fine in just about any weather.
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Postby hunt-chessies » Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:37 pm

aww just get a real dog...... (IE a chessie!!!) :toofunny: naw really if your not stupid about it and have a well taken care of hunting dog your going to give up way before there in danger anyhow!! you will be able to tell when there at the limit it would be the same as if your hunting partner hit his limit, you would notice and they would tell you (so will the dog!!)

those vests are good stuff i had one and really liked it but now that im down here in the south its too much for the dogs so i sold it
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Postby kyfowler » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:24 pm

i've got a 5 year old black lab female and i took her out friday and it was 17 degrees F. she weighs about 70-75 lbs and has a thick coat. ice started to form on her but it didn't bother her. the heater helps she sit next to it.
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Postby 7grnhds » Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:04 pm

so here i was in montana with the temps being -30 and i didnt take the dog but the next day when it was -10 i did take him the only part he didnt like was when he got some ice in his paws
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Postby CrackerJackShot » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:57 pm

a lab is good anywhere over 10 degrees. Thats all I can say.
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